The “Everyman” Caricacture Continues

I've blogged about my fascination with the "elites vs. everyman" dichotomy. Here's my post on D.C. pundits praising Sarah Palin for her supposed connection to everyday Americans. Here's my post on John Stuart Mill on elitism.

Culture 11 magazine today profiled New York state resident Greg Packer who apparently is the most quoted everyman in the country. Packer's life mission is to be the go-to "random guy off the street" for reporters on any topic. He's been quoted in hundreds of articles in the most prestigious newspapers. The most interesting two grafs of the profile:

Our "authentic" man on the street is in a sense our elitist notion of Everyman: he dresses sloppily, wearing rumpled tee-shirts and baggy, formless shorts as Mr. Packer does; he holds a bunched up newspaper, and speaks nothing like a spokesperson or a pithy sound-byte man, but punctuates his sentences with the ums and uhs of the American vernacular, imperfections reporters excise from Greg Packer quotes as a courtesy to our source and our readers.

The curse words that slip into Mr. Packer's sentences when he is exercised only aid his blundering seduction, which culminates in an uncanny ability to speak on any subject and articulate without fail whatever sentiment New York City reporters expect John Q. Public to express.

"Elitist notions of Everyman"? This is getting too meta for me.

(hat tip Andrew Sullivan)

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